Hi, it's me, Franz. You may be asking yourself, "This guy's made a couple records without needing my help, why is he coming around with his digital paw out now?"
Remember when Prince got all worked up in the '90s about owning his master recordings? It's still important - and in a digital-download world, it's even the easiest way. Records still cost to make, and it's no secret that way less labels are out there with budgets for making albums in general - much less for an acquired-taste songwriter - so if I can raise the money to make the record myself, I'm getting the best of all worlds. Sometimes life makes it convenient: I paid for "Major General" mostly from a small advance on my songwriting on a Hold Steady record; and "Luck & Courage" with the money from a summer touring with Against Me. This year, there's no great "extra-credit" money on the horizon, so for those of you can kick in 10 or 20 bucks, think of it as pre-paying for an album that hopefully you'd buy in any case; but that without your help, wouldn't get made.
What kind of album? See if this stokes your curiosity: songs about a gang of conceptual terrorists who go out with a bang, songs about Leatherface singer Frankie Stubbs, a reconsideration of the slogan of my home state of New Hampshire, going to see a rockabilly legend with Dave Dondero, betrayal and revenge as explained by the fishing habits of migratory birds, and a murderer haunted by a Greek chorus of Bostonians.
And I finally wrote a song with tap-dance solo.
Watch the video for a story about the album title & a new dance sensation.
Here's roughly how album costs breaks down:
- $5000 - Studio time ($500/day x 10 days)
- $3000 - Producer fee ($300/day x 10 days)
- $2500 - musician fees ($500 each for 4 band members, $100 each for strings & extra players)
- $3000 - Print publicity ($1000/mo x 3 months)
- $3000 - Radio promo ($1000/mo x 3 months)
- $1000 - Video (in the age of YouTube and blog embeds)
I realize that adds up to more than $10k. There are other expenses, of course - publicity, transportation, paying rent for God's sake - but I want to get the thing made, so I'm setting the bar lower, to cover JUST the recording of the thing, and hopefully we overshoot it or I raise the rest separately.
By comparison, "Luck And Courage" cost $11,100, in more or less the same proportions. Not crazy-time, just enough to make the record efficiently and let it be heard.
PLEASE CHECK OUT THE FAQs for my answers to some frequent concerns, issues, and general squeamishness that some people have about community-sourced arts funding.
Not that you asked, I'm open to barter - so if you want anything specific that's not on the rewards list - a voicemail message, wedding proposal in song, jingle for your online graphic-design concern - email me at email@example.com and we can strike a deal.
- (30 days)